Unless you’re a seasoned interior designer with decades of experience, chances are you’ve made a decorating faux pas or two. Maybe you purchased a sofa without measuring it first or hung a pendant light too high (hello, unflattering under-eye bags). Maybe you purchased a rug that was too small for your space or hung your curtains too low. Whatever it is, we’ve never met someone who didn’t fail at decorating at least once.
While there is a large amount of gray area when it comes to decorating – and we are certainly proponents of breaking decor rules – there are certain mistakes that are just plain awkward and easily avoidable. Thankfully, it only takes a quick fix to take these mistakes from looking off to feeling just right. Let’s vouch to never make these decor faux pas again, starting today. From floating a small rug to not making your bed, here are nine easy-fix decor blunders you should resolve to solve this week.
1. IGNORING THE HEMLINE
We all know curtains should touch the floor, but just how much fabric do you let touch? Unless you’re Marie Antoinette and your drapes are made of pure silk, there shouldn’t be too much glamorous puddling of extra fabric – aim to have them hit half an inch from the floor. To achieve this, have your drapes hemmed at the dry cleaners or use simple iron-on hem tape.
2. LETTING YOUR RUGS FLOAT
Don’t be ashamed if that kilim rug you scored at the flea market is actually too small for your room – it happens to the best of us. If you’re stuck with a small rug, ground it by placing it under furniture, whether under your coffee table or one foot of your sofa. Just don’t let it fly solo in the middle of your room. If it still looks off, trick the eye by layering a larger inexpensive natural weave rug underneath – it’s one of the many tricks interior stylists swear by.
3. NOT MAKING YOUR BED
Decorating starts as soon as you place two feet on the floor in the morning. Making your bed every day will make your entire place feel more pulled together and give you a sense of accomplishment, even if there are still dishes in the sink. On that note – pop your dishes in the dishwasher.
4. NOT FLUFFING YOUR PILLOWS
Don’t let your pillows become a sad, deflated mess. Pillows are functional, sure, but once you’re done with that squished-up lumbar, bring it back to life with a good fluff. A well-fluffed pillow is a sight to behold. Are you from the “life is too short to fluff pillows” school of thought? We hear you. Opt for synthetic fillings instead of down – they keep their shape longer.
5. HAVING TOO MANY KNICKKNACKS
When our decor feels a little off, our first instinct is to inject it with better, newer stuff. When in reality, we should probably be editing it down. No need to be a total minimalist, but curating your knickknacks will keep you from looking like a hoarder. If there isn’t space for more than a few treasures on a table or shelf, it’s time to purge.
6. HANGING FRAMES TOO HIGH
Unless you’re opening an at-home art gallery for giants, hanging art too high is a big no-no. Art should be hung eight to 10 inches above furniture, and around five feet from the floor. This will keep it at the right eye line for an average-height viewer and will keep your guests from breaking their necks trying to admire your latest acquisition.
7. CARBON COPYING
We’re all about being inspired by a designer’s portfolio, color combination or grouping of fabrics, but take that inspiration and make it your own. Just like in college, plagiarism is never admirable. You may borrow two to three items from a room you love, and you should inject the rest of the room with your own personality and style. If you’re really stuck, try picking the best inspiration from a few different rooms and mix them together to create your own ideal space.
8. NOT LIGHTING THE SCENE
We cry a little bit on the inside when a room only has overhead lighting. As soon as the sun sets, lighting becomes the most important decorating element in a room; only having ceiling lights makes people look tired and sad. Give everyone in your household a quick makeover simply by adding multiple sources of light: indirect lamps, task lighting, and overhead lighting. Just like in professional photography and movies, you should have at least three sources that cast a light from underneath, arranged in a triangle around the room. You’ll appear to be glowing from the inside out.
9. PUSHING YOUR FURNITURE OUT TO THE WALLS
Whether your space is a cavernous cave or a claustrophobic can, never push all of your furniture out to the walls. The space will seem larger and more inviting if there are at least two to three inches of space between your walls and your furniture. Play around with your floorplan, and try floating a sofa or even a chair. You can thank us later.